Reps move to establish excess revenue fund account
The House of Representatives has made an inroad on a Bill aimed at establishing an Excess Revenue Fund Account.The Bill, which seeks to amend the allocation of revenue (from the Federation Account) Act, Cap A15, 2004 to establish the Excess Revenue Fund Account and other related matters, scaled second reading on the floor of the House, presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
The House subsequently referred the Bill to the Committees on Finance, and Justice for consideration. Sponsor of the Bill, Lovette Ederin Idisi, explained that the initiative is aimed at amending Section 5 of the principal Act and inserting a new Section 5A, stipulating the establishment of an Excess Revenue Fund Account.
She explained that the account shall consist of all revenues or other monies raised or received by the Federation above revenue targets set out for the purpose of funding the budget in a fiscal year.
The proposed amendment further stipulates that no money shall be withdrawn from the account except to meet expenditures that are charged upon the fund and monies as authorised by the National Assembly pursuant to Section 81 of the Constitution.
Furthermore, that subject to the subsection, an expenditure from the account shall be in accordance with sections 2 and 3 of the principal Act, provided that the Federation Allocation Account Committee (FAAC), shall prescribe the manner of distributing such monies to the consolidated revenue fund for the purpose of the Bill, and the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, said: “I think today’s bill put paid to the question that we’re troubling our minds on the last motion in the House regarding the $1billion deductions from the Excess Crude Account for the counter-terrorism war.”
She equally expressed concern on the constitutionality of the Excess Crude Account, as it had previously been noted on the floor of the House that “the Excess Crude Account has not been established. That the National Assembly was the only body that has the power to come up with an establishment bill, which means that we have been operating an illegal account.
“The constitution states very clearly that all monies accruing to the Federal Government shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Account, and disbursed in a manner as prescribed by the National Assembly. So that means that if we want to change it, can we actually change it by way of a stand-alone bill? Or is it a constitutional amendment matter?”
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